Rice Owls to look out for Saturday night
The Rice Owls will enter TDECU Stadium with a 1-1 record. The Owls opened their season with a 62-7 loss to Stanford Cardinal, followed by a 31-14 win against the UTEP Miners.
Here are a few notable athletes the Cougars will be lining up against Saturday night.
Quarterback Sam Glaesmann
Redshirt freshman Sam Glaesmann beat out redshirt sophomore Jackson Tyner for the starting quarterback position in the spring.
His collegiate debut did not go smoothly. Glaesmann only completed seven passes for 69 yards, no touchdowns and one interception against Stanford. But such a performance was to be expected against a team like Stanford, a program known for their defense.
Glaesmann had a much more respectable scoreline against UTEP. In 18 attempts, he completed ten passes for 131 yards and one touchdown. He rushed for 23 yards on seven attempts and another score.
Glaesmann has shown himself to be a competent quarterback, but his numbers do not paint him as one to be feared.
Running back Samuel Stewart
Stewart is the clear No. 1 choice on offense. Last season, Stewart led the Owls in receiving yards (479), receiving touchdowns (3), was second in all purpose yardage (721) and tied for first on the team in total touchdowns (6).
Stewart did all that despite missing seven games for the Owls in 2016, but he has picked up where he left off.
Despite not yet recording a touchdown, Stewart has led the Owls in rushing in both games and leads the team with six receptions. He had 112 all purpose yards, 71 rushing and 41 receiving against Stanford. Against UTEP, he rushed for 89 yards on 16 carries and also caught three passes for 34 yards.
At TDECU, Stewart’s name will be called often, as Glaesmann will look to get him the ball as often as possible.
Linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee
The preseason Conference-USA Defensive Player of the Year has already had a strong start to his season. In the two games Rice has played, Ellerbee has led the team in tackles both times. In addition he already has a sack and 2.5 tackles for a loss.
After leading the conference in tackles per game (10.7), solo tackles (70) and second in total tackles (118), Ellerbee was named to the Nagurski Award Watch List, the award given to the best defensive player in college football.
If his start to the season has proven anything, Ellerbee will have a strong outing against the Cougars.
Defensive end Blain Padgett
Padgett was a leader on the Owl’s defensive line as a sophomore. Among the defensive linemen. Padgett was first on the team with 41 tackles and second in tackles for a loss (5.5).
His performance earned him a preseason All C-USA recognition. The 6’5 junior from Sour Lake is the clear leader for the Owls defense.
Going up against the Stanford offensive line, Padgett was held in check. Against an offensive line that only allowed two sacks, Padgett was only able to record a single tackle.
The match against UTEP allowed him to dominate. Against the Miners, he led the team in sacks (1.5), tackles for loss (2.5), solo tackles (4) and second in total tackles (7). Alongside Ellerbe, Padgett will be one of many Owls trying to get to Cougar quarterback Kyle Allen.